Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Question for the Non-Woodworkers

A friend on Facebook—Dale J. Osowski, who owns a woodworking business— was asked to repair a bench. He quoted a price and time frame ($150, two weeks) but the owner of the bench found the price and length of time to repair it to be unreasonable.

The bench cost $150—new.

Now, I didn't need to see pictures of this bench to know that it was built shoddily, quickly, and with cheap materials. (But the images are at right.)

We live in a throw-away society. We buy cheap stuff, it breaks, and winds up in landfills. Lather, rinse, repeat.

My question to consumers who buy this stuff is this: what would encourage you to consider hiring a craftsperson who makes his own products rather than head to a discount furniture store?

Which, if any, of the following points appeal to you most about a handmade piece and would persuade you to part with more money than you're used to spending on furniture?

1. It's built to last for generations.
2. It's made with premium lumber, not veneer-covered, pulverized garbage.
3. It's made with sustainable material.
4. It's made locally.
5. It will not add to our landfills. (see #1)
6. It's built to your specifications and to fit your space and style.
7. The craftsman will repair it for free if it breaks.
8. Anything else?

I'm not asking for me. But we woodworkers would like to keep our tradition alive and help those who have woodworking businesses stay in business. What is the best way for us to educate the consumer about the benefits of buying from a craftsperson?

Thank you for your help!